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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't like toys with batteries. The are loud and annoying. And I just don't see what my DS would get out of them. But I know most mamas here understand that.

Anywayyys...

My neice has ONE toy that does not have batteries. It is a fisher-price ring stacker. She has about 50 toys that do have batteries. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating. Even her doll talks.

I went to babies'r'us with my sister the other day and she said she had to get "E" (who is 7 months old) some new toys because she seems bored with her old ones (from christmas, 2 months ago!). She has a jumperoo, that big green dragon thing with the balls, a shape-sorter that lights up and makes noise, a crawl through play thing that lights up and makes noise, a dozen stuffed animals and dolls that talk, plus all the cheaper wal-mart baby toys that have batteries (play keys, ect). About a dozen videos. They put her in front of the tv for at least an hour a day, sometimes more.

I tried to steer her towards the wooden toys. I talked about how my DS's favorite toy is his blocks (she didn't believe me btw, because blocks are boring) and maybe E would like some. She left the store with a video, a couple more battery toys, and the ring stacker (I was glad she at least got that). And she's going back for a Hokey-Pokey elmo.

And my question is....WTH? Maybe I hang aroud MDC too much, but is this average in the mainstream world?

I'm kind of worried about my niece. It just doesn't seem healthy for every single toy to reward you every single time you touch it. And it seems like it would be overwhelming and overstimulating. Is there any evidence that this is harmful to kids?

I guess this is kind of a vent. The whole shopping trip I felt like my head was going to explode. First the bottle aisle, then the diaper aisle, then the formula aisle, then the baby food aisle, then the toys-with-batteries aisle.

I wanted to go home and play with my DS's blocks.
It's so much simpler in my world. You all can guess what I'm getting E for her birthday in July.
 

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The phrase you are looking for is "open ended" play. If a toy only and always does one thing, where is the fun and creativity in that? I don't know about harmful, but it doesn't encourage pretend play and creativity when she gets older.

I have a bunch of mainstream friends, and they have a lot of plastic, but maybe it's because we are mostly a little older than average, none of them like the noisy toys. Probably cause they are so annoying to listen to for the moms.
 

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Well I don't buy dd many toys but yes a lot of hers make noise its called don't put the batteries in or turn the sound off. DD LOVES peek a blocks and most them have noise and she still enjoys them without the noise. Where we live you can't really get wooden toys which I LOVE also they are so expensive. Not all toys that make noise are bad for them.
 

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We have a good mix of toys I think. We buy a lot of more open-ended play toys - silk, blocks, other wooden toys, and we buy a lot of books. We do buy some plastic, battery-operated toys and that's pretty much all that the rest of the family gets her. It gives her a good mix and I like that. I think she can get something from playing with her Leapfrog toys and hearing the letter sounds as she pushes the buttons. We go over letter a lot with her ourselves, but it's an additional way for her to learn. LOL She wraps up her Leapfrog caterpillar with a sillk like he's a doll sometimes too so even with battery-operated toys a child who's imagination is encouraged will find an open-ended way to play. I do find that most of the noise from the toys become background noise to me. Until I go to bed and have these odd tunes running through my head.
 

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I don't mind a few battery-operated toys. (DD has a keyboard, and a couple of lullabye-type things - given to her by other people.) But, I'd be worried about the fact that your niece has nothing else. Kids need to be able to use their imaginations, and those toys don't leave a lot of room for that, especially when there are no other toys available. Except for the keyboard, every battery operated toy we've had has been intended for use as a soothing type of toy. For example, a family friend bought dd a little battery-powered Pooh bear that played a lullaby. We didn't use it that much, but it was a godsend on the plane when she was about 10 months old...much quieter than I'm able to sing, for one thing.

I don't know very many people with kids in real life. One of my cousins buys her kids an assortment of toys, mostly for open-ended play. I havea another relative who only wants to buy things that keep her kids occupied without her involvement or supervision (read: battery-operated). We visited a friend of dh's once, and they seem to have every battery-powered toy you can imagine...but that was two years ago. We're visiting again in a week and a bit, so I'll see what they're doing now. Their whole parenting style makes me very uncomfortable, anyway.

I do buy plastic, but I'm not a big fan of "push a button - hear a voice - see a light" type toys. And, we just got a piano (our neighbour was moving) and dd likes it even better than her battery-powered keyboard. Yay!
 

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We have a mixture of open ended toys and battery operated toys which all get played with equally.

We actually bought the big dinosaur thing with the balls for DD after she showed interest in it at a freinds house. She literally played with it about three times in a month. We took it to the dcps house and she plays with it constantly


I concur with the pp who suggested other toy stores. Smallish independent stores tend to have a better mix.
 

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re: wooden toys

Quote:

Originally Posted by boongirl
... Think of it as making an investment. You spend a bit more per toy but they last longer and offer more play choices.
Just to add weight to the above quote. The vast majority of our wooden toys are toys that were mine and my brothers when we were kids. They are in great shape, with the exception of one or two, and between 35 and 40 years old!!! They have been played with consistently over their lifespan by us, cousins, friend's kids and now our kids.

I'm so glad my mom is a pack rat!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just wanted to clarify that I don't think they're all bad. We have a few. A little touch leap pad and a little people fire truck for example. I just can't imagine every single toy making a racket. And I didn't mean noisy toys that aren't battery powered, like the peek a blocks that make noise. Those are a good toy, I think.

I've never heard the term open-ended play, but I guess that is what I'm concerned about. She gets bored with her toys very quickly and it's no wonder why.

The babies'r'us we went to had some wooden toys. I got DS a wooden wagon with blocks in it since he loves his letter blocks so much. And I hear target has a great line of wooden toys now. I've even seen great wooden toys at wal-mart (maybe these companies are catching on?).

And I forgot to say this earlier...

I asked my sister how she could stand for all the toys to make so much noise. She said "E doesn't know how to push all the buttons yet". I said, "But she WILL eventually." And my sister said, "Well I didn't think about that..."
It'll catch up to her.
 

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I missed your niece's age at first. My ds2 is also seven months. His favourite toys are rattles and mirrors...and anything he can chew. I can't imagine giving him a bunch of electronic stuff!
 

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I think one of dds fave toys is her plastic rings that you stack. I am probably going to a discover toys party this weekend. I LOVE their toys...I think dd gets bored with her toys too so I put some away and bring others out and its a "new" toy.
 

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My kids don't have the stacking rings. I had them for ds1, but the rings got lost at some point. Maybe I'll buy a new one. The other one that I loved when I was a kid, and ds1 loved, as well, was the shape sorter thing with the shaped blocks that fit into the holes. They're all plastic, but they're far from batter-powered stuff.
 

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DS has been given many battery toys from friends and family and he enjoys them and LOVES pushing buttons. But, he is also happy playing with his other toys that do not "do" anything "fancy." The funniest thing, though, is what he MAKES into toys. He plays with his toys at some times during the day, but much of the day he "plays" with Daddy's tea kettle and boxes of tea bags, anything in the kitchen cabinets, whatever I am using, sticks, rocks,... The list goes on. I think that even when battery toys are available, kids gravitate toward things they can self-direct. Hopefully, your niece will do this when she is older and a little more mobile.

The only problem that comes next is if Mom and Dad think sticks, rocks, and tea kettles are too dangerous and that she needs to be directed only to her plastics...
:

editing to add PS:
The do make stacking rings that light up and play music, so if she got the plain ones, that's a GOOD thing!
 

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my dh and I are musicians, and we are adamantly refusing any battery powered toys for our new baby (due April 19th). We figure if he/she wants to touch something that will make noise, we'll give him/her an egg shaker or other appropriate musical instrument for a baby or some book that makes a crunchy sound or something. I know we wouldn't be able to stand it to have all that electronic noise in our environment. NO way. The big problem I have with all those electronic "music" toys that are supposed to be so good for their brains is that they're not real music! Real music is made by a person and has feeling attached to it. Electronic renditions of "twinkle" are not going to make your kid learn music! Yes, and most babys living w/ mainstream parents (we call them "zantoids"
)have TONS of electronic toys. Touch these babies toy baskets, and they're likely to erupt in a chorus of maddening, disjointed noise. Can you tell this is one of my hot topics??
 

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The ones that really get to me are the things like Hokey-Pokey Elmo and such. You push a button and they "entertain" the kid. I know lots of adults who just gush over them. But, I've never seen a child stay interested for more than 30 seconds.

We've got a crawling Eeyore and a crawling Pooh (gifts from two different people). I'm not sure how I feel about them. The babies do like them. DD likes to get them both going towards somebody...and ds2 likes to follow them around the floor...
 

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we have a good mix. i'm the one that gets made fun of for taking batteries out of things. my philosophy is to leave batteries in things that *need* them to work. her little people car drives just fine without singing & talking!!!


target just started carrying some of the ryan's room wooden stuff- very cute and reasonably priced.

fisher price's peek a blocks are really cute & no noise.

little tikes makes fun, open-ended stuff like little kitchens, musical instruments, etc.

there's always the spill-proof bubble containers- very popular around here.

if your sister is in that wacky noisy world, she may be more receptive to more mainstreamy looking open-ended toys, KWIM?
 

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ugh, MIL just brought over a toy that talks, makes obnoxious noise, lights up and is for ages 6 and up! (my dd is 3 months!!) Not to mention that we are moving TOMORROW cross country to a MUCH smaller house than we have now. I know she means well but I gotta get hubby to tell her that we'd appreciate non noise making toys. I can't even tell her since her english is poor. I feel bad but that thing is going to good will, I loved my toys as a kid that didn't have a "correct answer" and I don't want dd to grow up thinking that there is only 1 correct answer in life.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Enudely
my dh and I are musicians, and we are adamantly refusing any battery powered toys for our new baby (due April 19th). We figure if he/she wants to touch something that will make noise, we'll give him/her an egg shaker or other appropriate musical instrument for a baby or some book that makes a crunchy sound or something. I know we wouldn't be able to stand it to have all that electronic noise in our environment. NO way. The big problem I have with all those electronic "music" toys that are supposed to be so good for their brains is that they're not real music! Real music is made by a person and has feeling attached to it. Electronic renditions of "twinkle" are not going to make your kid learn music! Yes, and most babys living w/ mainstream parents (we call them "zantoids"
)have TONS of electronic toys. Touch these babies toy baskets, and they're likely to erupt in a chorus of maddening, disjointed noise. Can you tell this is one of my hot topics??

:

Here's another musician totally agreeing with you!!


Why should I put extra batteries in his swing so he hears a lullaby when I can put in a real, quality CD of a quiet song for him played by real instruments and real musicians?

That said, my MIL got my then-1-week-old son a plastic, battery operated guitar for Christmas!!!
After all, "his mom's a guitarist!" We'll probably let him play with it when he gets older, but I'm not about to go out and buy these kind of toys myself. I'm going to make him a tissue-box guitar when he's the right age for it, and I'll bet you anything he likes it better!
 

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I don't think that any one kind of toy is "bad".

There are some wonderful battery operated toys, especially for older kids:

-keyboards
-cash registers
-karakoke machine
-Operation (you really need good hand eye coordination and it does a good job of building it)
-Word Sound Toys (leapfrog)

There are some great plastic (non-wooden) toys:

Nerf Balls (try some of the things you can do with one inside with another kind of ball and either mom or a kid will end up crying)

Light weight plastic instruments (to form your own rock band)

Cranium Games and many other great games on the market today.

And of couse some wonderful wooden and other natural materials toys.

I would not want to exclude any category from my dc!
 

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I generally avoid battery toys but mostly because they annoy the crapola out of ME, lmao. When family gives them obnoxious toys the batteries that come with are the only batteries that the toy sees. But I dont think all of them are bad. My 3 year old has a doll house that has a few features (like doorbell and phone) with batteries but its mostly imagination run. My 5 year old has a trainset with 4 remote trains (Geo Tracks) and he LOVES those. Yeah they are annoying and loud but he gets to build the tracks and sets it up around DD's doll house and they give her people rides and play together with them. So I think this is a very open-ended toy as well. They also have a handfull of Leap Frog products because my DS has speech issues and doesnt like to *practice* in front of anyone (except me) and with them he can practice on his own anytime. Not to mention the kids adore learning. But the majority of the toys around here are non-noise makers and they enjoy those just as much. So while I dont think battery op toys are bad I think its good to have a variety of non-noisey toys as well for creative play and let the kids learn they dont ned to be "entertained" by something and can entertain themselves too.
 
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